Yipu Garden – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

yipu garden

Yipu Garden (艺圃), originally established in the year 1541, underwent significant transformations before adopting its current name. In 1620, it was acquired by Wen Zhenmeng, the grandson of Wen Zhengming, and was then known as Yaopu. The garden’s ownership changed hands again in 1659 when it was purchased by Jiang Cai, a native of Laiyang in Shandong, who renamed it Yipu. Covering an area of approximately 3300 square meters, Yipu Garden stands out as the smallest among Suzhou’s classical gardens.

The garden’s layout is characterized by simplicity and openness, embodying the natural and unadorned style typical of Ming dynasty artistry. Unlike the intricate and delicate features of later Qing dynasty gardens, Yipu Garden’s artistic value is deemed superior. From the arrangement of mountains and water, the spacing of pavilions and towers, to the meticulous treatment of individual rocks and trees, every aspect reveals a timeless and elegant style. The entire garden revolves around a central water pond, divided into residential and garden sections. To the north of the pond, buildings such as Boya Hall and Yanguang Pavilion take prominence, while the southern section features a landscape dominated by hills. Along the water’s edge, stacks of lake stones form steep cliffs and stone pathways, creating a dynamic and natural scenery.

One notable structure is the Ruyu Pavilion (乳鱼亭) to the east of the pond, a relic from the Ming dynasty. The southern view from the waterside pavilion presents a harmonious blend of mountains and water, with lush trees providing a rustic charm reminiscent of natural landscapes. Yipu Garden, with its unpretentious elegance and adherence to natural aesthetics, stands as a testament to the rich artistic heritage of classical Chinese gardens.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 – 2 hours
Ticket Price10 RMB
Opening Hours7.30 – 17.30; Last admission: 17.00 (1st March – 31st October)
7.30 – 17.00; Last admission: 16.30 (1st November – 29th February the next year)
AreaOver 3000 square meters
History1541: Built by Yuan Zugeng (袁祖庚), a well-known scholar, and named as ZuiyingTang (醉颖堂, Drunken in the Scenery hall)
1615: Bought by Wen Zhenmeng (文震孟) and renamed as Yaopu (Medicine garden)
1660: Bought by Jiang Cai (姜埰) and renamed as Yipu
1839: Bought by Hu Shoukang (胡寿康) and Zhang Rusong (张如松) and used as the site for the Silk Guild
1900: Gradually turned into residences of ordinary people
1970s: Renovated to recreate the landscape
1984: Open to the public
Telephone Number0086-0512-67271614

Location and Transportation

Yipu Garden is situated in the city of Suzhou, which is located in the southeastern part of Jiangsu Province, China. Its exact address is No. 5, Wenyanong, Gusu District. To get there, you can choose the following ways:

Bus: Take bus 31, 54, 204, 501, 9020A, or 9029, get off at Changmen Heng Street, and walk about 250 meters to the south to reach the garden.

Metro: The nearest metro station to Yipu Garden is Shilu (石路) on line 2. After getting out of the station from Exit 12, walk about 1 kilometer to the east to reach the garden.

Highlights of Yipu Garden

Pavilions and Halls

pavilions and halls in yipu garden

Yipu Garden enchants visitors with its elegant pavilions and halls, seamlessly woven into the landscape. The “Jade Mirror Pavilion” reflects the garden’s beauty over a tranquil pond. “Whispering Pine Hall” offers a serene retreat amidst lush greenery, its design echoing traditional aesthetics. The “Hall of Fragrant Snow” captivates with intricate carvings, celebrating nature’s grace. “Pavilion of Clear Ripples” perches gracefully over meandering waters, a haven of contemplation. These architectural gems not only frame breathtaking vistas but also provide spaces for reflection, inviting guests to connect with the garden’s timeless charm and immerse themselves in its poetic atmosphere.

Rockeries and Landscaping

rockeries and landscaping in the yipu garden

Yipu Garden’s captivating rockeries and landscaping are a harmonious fusion of nature’s artistry and human ingenuity. These meticulously arranged rock formations, resembling rugged mountains and serene valleys, evoke a sense of balance and tranquility. Intricately designed pathways wind through lush greenery, leading to hidden corners and scenic viewpoints. The artful placement of plants, stones, and water elements embodies the essence of Chinese garden design, symbolizing the interconnectedness of all elements. Amidst this living canvas, visitors experience a serene escape, where every step unveils a new perspective and where the crafted landscape gracefully echoes the rhythms of the natural world.

Floral Splendor

floral splendor in yipu garden

Yipu Garden blooms with a tapestry of vibrant flora that adds a captivating dimension to its beauty. Throughout the changing seasons, an array of blossoms paints the landscape with a kaleidoscope of colors. Cherry blossoms shower the garden with delicate pink hues in spring, while lotus flowers grace the waters in summer. The fragrant osmanthus and chrysanthemums lend autumnal charm, and plum blossoms brave winter’s chill. This ever-changing botanical palette, meticulously curated, reflects the deep reverence for nature in Chinese culture. Visitors are treated to an enchanting journey through the cycles of life, where each petal tells a story of fleeting moments and timeless renewal.

Zen Retreat

zen retreat of yipu garden

Yipu Garden stands as a serene haven, a Zen retreat inviting seekers of tranquility to embrace inner stillness amidst its poetic allure. With artful rockeries resembling rugged landscapes and soothing water features mirroring harmony, it offers a sanctuary for contemplation. Amidst elegant pavilions and shaded alcoves, one finds respite from the bustling world, a place to meditate on nature’s rhythms. Every carefully placed element exudes mindful design, guiding visitors on a journey of self-discovery. Yipu Garden’s timeless ambiance whispers the wisdom of Zen philosophy, inviting all who wander its paths to find solace, clarity, and a profound connection with the essence of being.

Vlog about Yipu Garden

Useful Tips Summarized from Reviews

Best Visiting Times for Different Flowers:

  • Plum Blossoms (梅花): Late January to early February.
  • Rose Flowers (蔷薇花): Mid to late April; it is advisable to come early due to high visitor numbers.
  • Morning Glory Flowers (凌霄花): June to August.
  • Lotus Flowers (荷花): June to August; even the remaining lotus flowers in August have a unique charm.
  • Red Maple (红枫): November to December; the contrast with white walls and red leaves is especially beautiful.
  • Banana Trees (芭蕉): Throughout the year; the scene of rain hitting banana leaves is particularly artistic.

Yipu Garden’s Largest Waterside Pavilion

  • Yipu Garden boasts the largest waterside pavilion in Suzhou gardens, known as Yan Guang Pavalion.
  • Presently, Yan Guang Ge serves as Yipu Garden’s tea house and is a favorite among local Suzhou residents.
  • After exploring the garden, take a break at Yan Guang Ge. Sit by the window, brew a cup of tea, and engage in lively conversations with friends.
  • Tea options include regular green tea, chrysanthemum tea (20 yuan/cup), Biluochun (碧螺春 – 35 yuan/cup), and you can also get a bag of melon seeds for 10 yuan.

Attractions near Yipu Garden

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